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Ancelotti: "The magic of this stadium helps the players to never give in"

NEWS STORY. 12/04/2022

"I'm really pleased to get through to the semi-finals with this club; we really had to dig in, but I'm really happy", he commented.

Carlo Ancelotti took to the media room at the Santiago Bernabéu following the Real Madrid’s qualification for the Champions League semi-finals. The coach reflected on the game against Chelsea in the following terms: “We’ve got through because we showed the energy, particularly towards the end of the game to keep ourselves in it. All of the players stood up and were counted and it was a tough night. We didn't deserve to be 2-0 down. We struggled on set pieces because we were missing our best player in that department who is Militão and what’s more, their first goal came from a rebound. We didn't show the desire to score goals and after going 2-0 down, the team suffered mentally. I can't explain any of the rest of it. The magic of this stadium helps the players to never give in”.

“At no stage did I think that it was over, particularly because we were playing here at the Bernabéu. It's difficult to put it into words, but this magic spurs you on. It helped to give the whole team that energy boost to get through to the semi-finals and Carvajal played very well at centre-back. I'm really pleased to have got through to the semi-finals with this club. We really had to dig in, but I'm happy”.

“I've got to keep a cool head and carefully assess what has to be done. I made the changes to try and give us a bit more energy. I then had to bring Nacho and Vini Jr. off because they couldn't continue. There's nothing wrong with Benzema. Chelsea put an awful lot of effort in to their press and that gave us the edge in extra time because we were fresher than them at that stage”.

Two Spanish teams in the semi-finals
"It's hard to say that we can't win the Champions League. We've shown that we can fight until the end. I'd like to congratulate Villarreal on their strong performance and Unai as not many thought that Spanish football would have two teams in the Champions League semi-finals. Two already qualified and there may be a third. Who knows".

Praise for Rodrygo
"He does things different when he comes on. He's done it a lot. He did it against PSG and again today. He's a young lad, he needs time to mature but I'm very happy with him".

"He brings quality and additional energy. He can play as a starter, but when he comes on he contributes with his energy for the team. When the intensity of the games drops, Valverde and Rodrygo help us out as they're fresh and they can change the game".